Wheatland Center School teacher charged with sexual assault of teen girl

Zachary Wendt /Racine County photo

Note: The following story is from Racine County Eye and is used with permission — DH

By Denise Lockwood, Racine County Eye

A school music teacher is being held in the Racine County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond after being charged with the sexual assault of a child for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Zachary Wendt, 38, of Burlington, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with:

  • Two counts of sexual intercourse with a child
  • Two counts of sexual assault of a child by a person who works with children 
  • Exposing intimate parts
  • Three counts of possession of child pornography

If convicted of all charges, Wendt faces up to 92 years in prison and/or fines up to $350,000.

Wendt, the band teacher at Wheatland Center School, was suspended from his position without pay, pending an investigation, according to a statement from the administration. The school also canceled the 5-8th grade band concert.

According to the criminal complaint, Burlington Police responded to a report of a sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl by a school music teacher who also taught music lessons at a music store in Burlington. During the investigation, officers learned that Wendt had asked the girl out on a date. She told him she was 16 and declined the date. But Wendt and the girl “engaged in ‘sexting.’”

In March, Wendt picked the girl up from her home and took her to his house in Burlington. Providing her alcohol, the girl got drunk and the two had sex. Wendt drove the girl home the following day.

Racine County Court Commissioner John Bjelajac set a preliminary hearing at 9:15 a.m. Dec. 16 at the Racine County Courthouse.

A letter was posted on the school website indicating that the incidents did not happen at the school or involve Wheatland Center students.

“As a school district, our first and most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students. We will continue to do everything we can to make that happen,” the letter says.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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